Walt Disney World Union Leader Calls on Governor DeSantis to Allow Cast Members to Be Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

As COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out across the United States, Walt Disney World’s largest union is calling on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to allow Cast Members to become eligible for the vaccine.

UNITE HERE! Local 362‘s President Eric Clinton told WFTV that he felt it was time that Cast Members were included in the currently eligible groups, saying “At the end of the day, DeSantis has said he’s not putting workers first, he’s putting seniors first, and at this point I think it’s time to move on past that.” Clinton cited the fact that over 30,000 Cast Members work at the resort’s theme parks and hotels, primarily coming from Orange County, calling it “no small number.”

While Cast Members do wear face coverings while working at Walt Disney World, Clinton added that he felt that making them eligible for vaccines would help bring those who are currently furloughed back to work sooner, as well as help restore consumer confidence and bring guests back to the resort. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings was unclear when WFTV’s Lauren Seabrook asked about moving up theme park workers, implying that his priority is focused on making essential workers eligible, including first responders, teachers, and grocery store workers and saying that it depended on how much vaccine would be available.

Walt Disney World is currently the largest single-site employer in the United States, and a significant part of Florida’s economy. Back in January, the resort was being considered as a vaccine distribution site. Clinton believed that it would benefit Disney to help push for vaccinations, saying “I think Walt Disney World would have an interest in being able to say very publicly, our employees are now getting vaccinated.”

Keep reading WDWNT for more on this ongoing story.

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Michael
Michael
6 months ago

I agree with the reasoning for the Cast Members being considered essential works esp when they are around the general public all day long!!! The way the Cast Members are treated by some of the Park guests is shameful!! They are only doing their jobs!!!

Joe
Joe
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael

This can be said of any job. Back in October, the Unions confirmed no cases from cast members tied to theme park attendants.
How do you determine that cast members need a vaccine more than other professions?
And for the record, at this stage, I believe vaccines should be open to all in Florida if we have enough.

Bob
Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe

It can’t be said of any job, because not every job requires interacting with the general public. An accountant working from home is nowhere near as vulnerable as a theme park attendant. It’s also easy to determine certain types of Cast Members as more eligible based on their job descriptions. Ticket agents contained inside booths behind windows could probably be considered less of a priority, whereas ride operators, waitstaff, housekeeping and others whose duties include regular sanitization of high traffic areas should rightly be considered higher priorities.

Prince Naveen
Prince Naveen
6 months ago

Sorry, but the only thing that will “help restore consumer confidence and bring guests back to the resort” is dropping the nonsense mask/SD policies and reinstating FP+, DDP, parade, fireworks, and shows. Vaccine availability will have little to nothing to do with it.

Furthermore, the vax will eventually be available to CM population over the next month anyway. Smells like a Disney PR move.

Brian
Brian
6 months ago

Then DeSantis should make them a deal: get priority for vaccine and then eliminate the union mandated mask policy for all guests TWO (mind boggling!) and up. If you got your shot you don’t need masks and a face shield…..

Last edited 6 months ago by Brian
Anon
Anon
6 months ago

lol Doen’t the union realize the vaccine is only for the rich in FL?